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Poutine in Chicago?

As a transplanted Canadian, I miss my poutine! Has anyone seen it on any local menus?
Much thanks!

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  1. They are on the menu at Pizzeria Aroma but I have never had it.

    Pizzeria Aroma is on Berywn - steps away from the Red Line stop

    1. Make your own.. you know how.

      Fries from McDonald's, gravy from KFC, cheese curds from the farmers market or grocery store. Assemble.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gleam

        I can't answer your question. However, I work with a woman from Quebec who is adamant that it is nearly impossible to get authentic poutine anywhere outside of La Belle Province. The reason? The cheese curds must be fresh and unrefrigerated. As soon as they go into a fridge, blammo, they're ruined and no good for poutine. Or so she tells me.

        1. re: anewton

          No offense to the Quebecoisse, but that's nonsense. Poutine is poutine, coast to coast. You can find incredibly fantastic poutine in Calgary and horrible poutine in Val D'or. You cannot, however, find poutine in Chicago. That's what you get for emigrating, bud.

      2. Around these parts we call 'em cheddar fries (or cheese fries). The Wiener Circle on Clark Street does a great redention served with a side of attitude! I like mine with a dash of celery salt and a few sport peppers....

        2 Replies
        1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

          Cheese fries that I've had around Chicago have always been with some cheesey sauce, not real cheese CURDS, like poutine requires. And I've never seen them here with gravy on top (poutine-style) as well. Chili, of course. But gravy?

          1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

            celery salt on fries? that sounds delicious. with a cold beer...yumm...

          2. Having just returned from Montreal, I can assure you that there is nowhere in the Chicagoland area that serves up this dish. Sorry!

            The best thing I can think of is go to any Culvers http://www.culvers.com/Welcome.aspx , they sell fresh dairy curds and French fries, and the dinners have mashed potatoes and gravy (maybe they will sell you a just a cup of gravy), and then self assemble...

            Oh yeah one more thing, here's a link to what’s the real thing, recipes, and recommendations for Montreal (which I used) including the history of the dish: http://www.montrealpoutine.com/index....

            1. Hi,
              I am not sure about anyone else, but "I" don't call poutine, cheese fries. I have never had poutine, but slopping some squeeze cheese on fries, does not a poutine make.
              Sorry, I have no other suggestions..
              I hijacked this from another board.
              Scroll down to Jan 5 2006.

              Hello! Someone directed me to this thread from another board. I am also a Canadian living in Chicago. Born in Montreal.

              Your best bet to get authentic poutine in in Chicago is to do this:

              -Buy a deep frier (skip buying the frozen fries, it isn't the same)
              -Go to Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha, WI and buy white cheese curds (this is also a must, unless you want to make NYC Disco fries (with regular melted mozzerella cheese, which aren't the same)
              -Go to jewel and buy a 5lb bag of russet potatoes, 4 packets of Jewel brand powdered chicken gravy, 32oz. Kitchen Basics brand chicken stock, and a gallon or so of peanut oil.

              step 1 - wash potatoes and cut potatoes into fries

              step 2 - start cooking the fries like this website tells you to: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r...
              (salt the fries while they're still hot after the second round in the frier)

              step 3 - mix the powdered gravy with the stock in a pot and bring to a bare simmer. Let it reduce some.

              step 4 - put hot fries in a bowl, top with cheese curds and then add the gravy to slightly melt the curds.


              I did this last weekend and it's the best poutine I've had since moving from Montreal.

              3 Replies
              1. re: louweezy

                They do sell cheese curds at the Farmer Market at the Federal Plaza. I can't buy them because I would eat the bag in one setting but they are the real deal. Perhaps poutine can be made without a trip to Wisconsin

                1. re: lbs

                  Whole Foods (North Ave) has started selling decent curds.

                  1. re: jonk

                    EDIT - stopped by Whole Foods today, the newest (to claim freshest would be an abomination) curds they had were packaged June 17, there was also a batch that was a couple weeks older. Why bother?

              2. I wonder if a place that just sells fries and poutine (i.e. something like New York Fries in Canada) would do well in Chicago. A lot of people in Canada eat poutine/fries as a meal at lunch. It's also a favourite late-night/after-drinking food. But maybe people in Chicago don't see fries the same...

                1 Reply
                1. re: jennkmho

                  I've been amazed that I can't get poutine in Iowa, what with fresh cheese curds everywhere. It's almost impossible to even get simple gravy fries, as the dominant gravy is that white stuff for biscuits &... or chicken fried steak. You'd think the Midwesterners would have a monopoly on cheesy, starchy, salty fatty goodness. Alas.

                2. I'm afraid to agree with the other posters, I have searched high and low for it since moving here. There are some ersatz substitutions that can help you when you are craving. Though I do admit it just isn't the same. That being said, Duffy's Tavern (420½ W. Diversey) has "gravy" fries (though you need to request that they add cheese). It is on a bed of mashed potatoes, which adds for more starchy goodness They usually come with waffle fries and though you can get it with standard fries the waffle fries hold up better to the gravy.
                  I have also found gravy fries at the Holiday Club. (4000 N. Sheridan) Again you need to ask for cheese on it (and of course it's not curds) though these are not as satisfying as the one's at Duffy's because they get soggy fast.
                  Even though these don't really compare to the joy that is poutine when you need your fix, you NEED your fix. It's sort of how the alcoholic will drink Listerine when he can't get the real stuff -- we need something that's close.

                  Duffy's Tavern
                  422 1/2 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614

                  Holiday Club
                  4000 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60613

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kzoopetro

                    The Gage on Michigan has a "Poutine" dish, but it's a bit more upscale.

                    1. re: ferret

                      This is at least one place that does serve real poutine: The bad apple in North Center


                  2. As one commenter pointed out, the Gage has poutine. What they failed to mention is that it is excellent, as is most of their menu. You can eat there for $15/person, or $50/person, since their menu is so extensive. The poutine has a delicios elk ragout, usually.

                    1. The Paramount Room on N Milwaukee serves a nice, seemingly authentic Poutine. It also happens to be one of the best bars/gastropubs within a mile or two of that location.